I am awake after a solid night of sleep. I drove back yesterday after a few days with my family. My older brother purchased a new house and is renovating it before moving in. His home is probably the most central location for everyone in our family. We decided to meet there. Initially, we were all planning on crashing in the house under renovation in sleeping bags on the floor for a few days. That was until we discovered just how much renovation it needed. My older brother ended up tearing out almost all of the walls. He also didn't really have a functional bathroom.
Just a week before we were all supposed to arrive, we had to figure out a plan B. In spite of the added cost, we chose the hotel route. My sister and parents split a suite, and I picked up two more rooms for my brother and his family and David and me.
The plan was for us to gather for the big meals at my older brother's place and then spend family time in the dining room of the hotel. The hotel said it was never used and that we were welcome to. I thought that was a great idea. The place was clean and the kids could be put to bed in their rooms or my dad could watch football in his room while we enjoyed family time together.
Unfortunately, my older brother had other plans. He really wanted us all to hang out the entire time at his under renovation house. There is no internet, no television, no beds for the kids, and the only furniture was the camping chairs I picked up at Walmart, some blankets from my car, and camping chairs and blankets from my sister's car.
I've mentioned my personality before. Like me, my brothers and sister all have very strong, dominant personalities. My dad does as well. When you get us all in one place, it means that someone has to make decisions and the rest have to agree with the decision. When one person doesn't agree with the decision, they surely make noise in my family. Let's just say that this happens a lot. On the occasion that only one person disagrees, that person feels like they have to convince the others that they are right and the rest are wrong. If no one agrees, it makes it calmer since we have to talk through things.
More often than not, my older brother is the only person who disagrees with the rest of us. I love him. I do. We just both seem to fight a lot. He feels like I don't listen to him. I feel like he doesn't listen to me. We are both right. Neither of us really wants to listen to the other one because neither of us wants to change our opinion. We both just want to yell louder than the other until the other's opinion is switched to ours.
Every year when my family gets together, someone ends up having one of these yelling matches with him. I thought we had escaped them this year. The family just bent to his will whenever people disagreed. This is ok for the most part. After everyone had left, I went back over to his place to pick up something my mom had left for me. He and I got into it. I stormed out in a yelling storm and drove off leaving the stuff I went to get. He called me screaming that it was going to get tossed in the front yard. I kept driving. My David convinced me that it would upset mom if I didn't go back and get the stuff. In the mean time, my older brother had called and yelled about this to my mom and dad and they called me. I was so mad, that even after getting the stuff, I wanted to hit something. My brother is one of the only people in the world that gets me that mad.
I still had a great thanksgiving. My family met David and it went well. We had good food. We enjoyed seeing each other. I'm thankful for my family even if we don't always agree. I know we all love each other, but don't always know how to show it when our egos get in the way.